Best Of: A Look at a Collection at MEB
The Musée d’Ethnographie de l’Université de Bordeaux is presenting a selection of archives and works from its international collection. Through June 1, 2018, various objects from the world over shed light on the history and expeditions of this century-old institution, the second ethnographic museum, after the Trocadéro, to have opened in France. Moving through the decades, the installation starts with the museum’s founders and collaborators, and it casts light on the importance of its ethnographic collections. More information on: https://meb.u-bordeaux.fr
Coiling Culture: Basketry Art of Native North America
Baskets were one of the first art forms in the Americas, with basket fragments found in California and the Southwest dating to 9,400 years ago. Over the millennia, native North Americans developed elaborate techniques and intricate designs worked in local materials, from sweetgrass in Florida to black ash in the Northeast and deer grass in California, among many others. These materials were sacred to their makers and those who used these special containers. So too was the way each was made with coiling, especially poignant, symbolizing for many groups the path of human emergence from inside earth and the movement of the spirits between realms. This display in the Art of the Americas' galleries explores the intersection between material, making, and meaning in the fragile basketry art of the Southeast to the Southwest and up into the Arctic.
In this exhibition, the Musée des Confluences in Lyon is offering a fresh look at its anthropological and natural history collections. This is a rare opportunity to travel through time to see how those collections were formed and how they have contributed to scientific research. The exhibition opens with the eighteenth century, a time when, within the contexts of exploration and colonization, objects from around the world developed scientific relevance. Explorers of all kinds collected innumerable objects from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Masks, items of clothing, weapons, utilitarian objects, and items intended for ritual use began to be used to document hitherto unknown lands. Private collectors and dealers in antiques and natural history specimens became important sources and donors for the museum. Ultimately, the intent of the exhibition is to explore what the museum holdings are today and what the patrimony of the future will be.
Tuareg, Nomad Tales
Perceived by their Western colonizers as everything from noble and chivalrous to bloodthirsty and savage, the image of the Tuareg that was built up during colonial times remains firmly rooted in many minds. In "Touaregs, récits nomades", the Musée des Confluences challenges these stereotypes and reveals the Tuareg in all of their complexity and dynamism. The first part focuses on the watercolors of Paul-Elie Dubois, as well as on archival documents and popular items. It then moves on to the remarkable collection of jewelry and amulets donated by the Masnat Association in 2015. These create an immersive experience in the Tuareg aesthetic universe, which is characterized by restraint, equilibrium, a distinctive geometry, and a unique use of color. Excerpts from poems accompany the presentation. Finally, the exhibition examines how the Tuareg are changing their traditional codes while at the same time reaffirming their identity. Like the jewelry they adapt to Western uses, they are reappropriating an idealized Western image to diffuse their culture, to make their demands known, and to enter into a new form of resistance.
Beyond Compare: African Art at the Bode Museum
Beginning on October 27, 2017, the Bode Museum will present a “conversation between continents” with an exhibition that features more than seventy African sculptures from the collection of the Berlin Museum of Ethnology. Beyond Compare sets up a dialog between objects from Central and West Africa and masterpieces from Byzantium, Italy, and central Europe. The exhibition intends to create new interactions that highlight unexpected similarities as well as differences between artworks from unrelated traditions. More than thirty juxtapositions illustrate major themes in human existence such as power, death, beauty, memory, aesthetics, and identity. On view through spring 2019, this show goes beyond the mere comparison of sculptural traditions to open interesting new perspectives.
"In a Different Light" at the Museum of Anthropology at the UBC
This inaugural exhibition marks the opening of a new gallery dedicated to American Indian and Northwest Coast Indian arts at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver. More than 110 historically significant and unusually fine artworks are presented in a new way. "In a Different Light: Reflecting on Northwest Coast Art" also marks the return of a number of objects to British Columbia which passed from museums into private collections and away from their communities in the nineteenth century. A goal of the exhibition is to restore their history through the knowledge of artists and First Nation members, as well as to enable these people to reconnect with their origins. Transcending notions of art and craftsmanship, these objects offer precious insight into the connections between Native Americans and their lands. The exhibition sheds light on this culture’s perception of the world, as well as upon the creativity and inventiveness that their works display.